Recently, Canadian scientists unearthed an ankylosaur fossil and decided to name it Zuul, after the red-eyed villain from the 1984 movie “Ghostbusters”.
What Made the Team Decide on Zuul?
“The skull of the new dinosaur has a short, rounded snout, gnarly forehead, and two sets of horns projecting backwards from behind the eyes, just like Zuul,” said David Evans, a Royal Ontario Museum paleontologist.
Fully named the Zuul crurivastator, the creature’s surname means “Destroyer of Shins.” The ankylosaur would have been about 20 feet long and weighed 5,500 pounds, similar to the size of a rhinoceros. Its ten-foot long tail was covered in rows of spikes. Researchers believe that they used it for fighting off predators and for attracting mates.
Dr. Victoria Arbour, the lead researcher of the new study and an expert on armored dinosaurs, pointed out several elements. For example, the ankylosaur’s tail club and spikes. Also, the unique size and shape of the creature’s skull. She gave these examples to offer confirmation that Zuul was an entirely new species.
Found in Montana’s Judith River Formation, this ankylosaur fossil features a complete skull, club-like tail, and preserved soft tissues. The river formation already revealed some of the earliest known dinosaur fossils ever to be found in North America.
This new find is one of the best-preserved ankylosaur fossils ever found.Evans also pointed out that this fossil’s preservation is “truly remarkable”. The skeleton of the ankylosaur was uncovered almost entirely intact. Its bony skin armor was resting in a natural position that would have been assumed by the creature during its life.